The relatively high incidence of sexual harassment in the construction industry means companies in the sector should pay special attention to recent legislation, litigation and enforcement actions related to the issue, WilmerHale lawyers wrote in a recent New York Law Journal article in which they also offered recommendations for compliance.
In the article, Partner Danielle Conley, Senior Associate Jessica Lutkenhaus, Counsel Tania Faransso and Partner Brendan McGuire write: “Companies that are serious about preventing and appropriately responding to complaints of sexual harassment and fostering an equitable and inclusive environment must conduct a clear-eyed assessment and ask tough questions...” Among the questions that should be asked: “Are there weaknesses in the corporate culture? and “what are the companies investigation practices and procedures?”
The article cites a study that found that a third of women in the construction industry reported sexual harassment to be “a constant and frequent experience at work.”
To help companies in the industry improve their workplace cultures, better supervise contractors and, importantly, understand the changing climate in the present #MeToo era, the article “highlights recent litigation and enforcement actions, both private and public, as well as new legal requirements in states, including New York, which serves as a case study in developing compliance landscape around the country.”